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Richard Bland among 3 co-leaders at LIV Bangkok

Richard Bland of England, Eugenio Lopez-Chacarra of Spain and Branden Grace of South Africa are tied for the lead Friday after one round of the LIV Golf Invitational Bangkok in Pathum Thani, Thailand.

Bland, Lopez-Chacarra and Grace opened with a 7-under-par 65 at Stonehill Golf Course. That was enough for a one-stroke advantage over England's Ian Poulter and Australia's Marc Leishman at 6-under 66.

Bland, Lopez-Chacarra and Grace each posted seven birdies without a bogey. Bland, 49, drained three straight birdies at the 10th through 12th holes, then one at No. 15 and another at the par-4 18th to reach 7 under.

"I've felt like recently I've been sort of playing better than I've been scoring, which is sometimes sort of quite frustrating," Bland said. "Yeah, it was nice to kind of get the most out of the round. You can always say you left a couple out there. Most guys can. But I was kind of just saying, it's great to get off to a good start, and for me that's all it is. There's still a long way to go yet."

Lopez-Chacarra was a first-team All-American in college at Oklahoma State and joined LIV over the PGA Tour when he turned pro this summer.

"I've been struggling the first four weeks, just turned pro and nervous and all these guys, how good they are, and just trying to learn every week," the 22-year-old said. "I feel my game is getting better every week, and today I thought about what I was doing in college the last couple years when I had all the success, and I was just trying to play to not make bogeys."

Grace, the most accomplished of the three co-leaders, won LIV's second event in Portland, Ore. and is angling to become the upstart tour's first two-time winner.

Brooks Koepka eagled the par-5 sixth hole and shot a bogey-free, 5-under 67. He was tied for sixth with Harold Varner III, Kevin Na, Sihwan Kim and Australia's Jediah Morgan. Patrick Reed, Sergio Garcia of Spain and Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland were tied at 4-under 68.

The team aspect of LIV events reward bonuses for the teams with the lowest combined scores. Fireballs GC -- consisting of captain Garcia, Lopez, Mexico's Abraham Ancer and Carlos Ortiz -- were leading at 14 under through one round. Cleeks GC -- consisting of captain Martin Kaymer of Germany, Bland, McDowell and Laurie Canter of England -- were in second at 13 under.

--Field Level Media